Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - A Year In Review

I've seen this on a few blogs so decided to join the party. Here's what my year was All blogs are linked.

I compared Disneyland and DisneyWorld after our recent vacation, showed off my excessive collection of Smore ornaments, relayed my love of James Bond, and brought light to the most optimistic man in the world.

This was quite a month of weather for us. There were several posts about our snow adventure (that never seemed to end), the Puppy Bowl,  Senior night for Whitney, my collection of gifts, and the dancing panda of Norman.

Everyone learned what I want to be when I grow up, expensive wine, the big interview, and Frankenstein.

This was a renovation month, scholarship news, extreme couponing, fear of dentists, my big award and the beginning of my tv reviews.

It was all about Whitney: Prom, graduation, craft day. We also had tornadoes, and my sister in-law's adoption story.

I had more tv reviews, Whitney's final dance recital, hailstorms, big wine review, my love for Whitney's new college, and the beginning of our hottest summer ever.

We lost our front tree, more heat, travelling geese, and the dorm was assigned.

Whitney went packed up and went off to college and got some fancy clothes, and it finally rained.

Football season brought us ugly uniforms, my first blog award, working with great people, fall tv viewing, and our first visit to see Whitney in college.

Dan and I took a weekend get-away, airport waiting, and I posted our awesome chili recipe.

We had an earthquake, I went to Washington DC for work, I learned a lesson in ergonomics, and actually went to see The Muppet Movie.

We see what carpet pooling can do, learned how to cook lasagna noodles, figuring out how to be weather ready, I told you what should be banned (and you weighed in too), and I showed more of my snowman addiction.

And so we end the year with a windy day here in Oklahoma (not unusual). The weather is in the 60's and sunny. I wish all of you a good end to 2011 and health and happiness in 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Fragments - Happy New Year (Almost)

Mommy's Idea

Time for Friday Fragments. Let's end the year with random thoughts!

***I've been watching the OKC Thunder this season. I'm trying to support the local team. This could be a fun year to watch. This NBA team isn't "star" centered (eventhough they have a star). I hate when it is revolving around one person.

***Whitney had to have blood drawn for her pre-op. First time for her. Since she hates needles I hadn't warned her it was probably going to happen. The one hour before the draw was enough torture for her. Luckily we had a young RN who was very nice and talked Glee to her while drawing blood and it was only one vial.

***Why does the week between Christmas and New Year's only have repeats on tv? This is the week so many people are home and watching tv.

***My new dishwasher is finally in. The installers are supposed to call by Monday to come and put it in and take away the old one. Probably just a couple more washes and then this one can retire to where all dishwashers go. The trash pile.

***Lowe's already sent me the bill for said new dishwasher. It is due the 16th. The dishwasher better be installed before I have to actually pay for it.

***I already drank one of my bottles of wine I got from Christmas. Is it too late to ask for more?

***Random photo of the week.

The dog cannot allow anyone to lay on the floor without joining them. Of course she has to lay on her back like a human only it looks sillier on her.

***We are having a belated Christmas with Dan's mother Friday. Having a french toast casserole for brunch since Dan wanted something Christmasy.

***We will be doing nothing for New Year's Eve. I did ask Whitney was she wanted to eat between now and when she needs to go back to school. We have baked (fried) chicken, chicken noodle soup and beer crust pizza coming up for us.

***I've enjoyed reading so many new blogs over this past year. Thank you for all of my new readers. I hope that we will continue to enjoy each other in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Surviving the Outlet Mall

Since we had to be in OKC for pre-op tests for Whitney, we went to the new outlet mall. We got there at noon and had lunch in the food court. It wasn't too busy when we arrived so it was really nice to go to the stores. They had a lot of clearance sales going on. We tried on clothes and spent some money. We also survived the Disney store without purchasing anything (quite shocking). After three hours of shopping we were done.

2 pairs of Levi jeans - already at the alteration shop since short jeans still aren't short enough for my girl
2 sweaters - one for each of us
1 pair of Nike shorts - Whitney
Earrings - a Christmas gift from Dan

The busiest store was Coach. We walked in and the check out lane was winding around and we couldn't figure out why. Until we were handed a 30% off coupon on all purchases. And half the store was already 50% off. I still can't figure out why I would spend $100 for a purse even after all those discounts. So I didn't buy anything.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last Hodgepodge of 2011

Last Hodgepodge of the year. Hard to believe but here we go.

1. Share something you loved about your Christmas Day.

I loved being able to go at a slow pace. What a difference it is to not have little kids waking up at 5am so excited that Santa came. We didn't even open anything until after breakfast.

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?

I've avoided thinking about this answer for a day now. After reading what other people wrote, I'm still not sure. Maybe a newspaper (yes I still read a real one delivered daily to my driveway) that has a year in review section, a list of obsolete electronics from the past 100 years along with a list of electronics that are out now so the people of the future can just laugh at us, a photo of the earth from space so that they could compare it to what it looks like in their era and see if global warming exists or not. That's only three but I can't think of anything else.

3. What do you like on a cracker?

Cheese. Lots of cheese.

4. Do you make resolutions at the start of a new year? How'd that work out for you this past year?

I never make resolutions. I think it is silly because they never stick. So why go through the process just to fail. There is nothing special about January 1 except that it starts off a new year. You can make goals anytime and as long as they are reasonable you can achieve them.

5. What's a song or song lyric you'll associate with 2011?

Party Rock Anthem by L.M.F.A.O. I hated this song when it first came out and then kept hearing it and hearing it. It is so darn catchy and now that those hamsters have it in the car commercial I can't get enough.

Party Rock Anthem

6. How will you ring in the new year?

Just staying home. I hope I can even stay up until midnight. Lucky the big ball drops at 11 here since we are central time and then I can just pretend it is midnight.

7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?

Hoping to finish renovating the kitchen.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Whitney has surgery next Tuesday to fix her deviated septum. The doctors hope that this will finally lessen the pressure on her tear duct so her eye will drain. Let's hope that the third time is the charm.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Break So Far

Christmas was good to me by adding to my snowman collection. Whitney did an excellent job by buying me not one but two new ones. I also bought myself a new snowman pillow on clearance yesterday at Target.
Snowman Pillow - Clearance at Target

Snowman Family from Whitney

Snowing in the Snowglobe

Yesterday I went to restock my Christmas supplies. First stop was Target. At 10am the parking lot had hardly any cars. There was only one person in line to return stuff. So I went back to the car to get my return. I hadn't planned on returning anything yesterday thinking the lines would be long. So I got that done and went straight to the back of the store where the stocking holders were. I was hoping that they would have the one I wanted. SCORE! I got the last one. They had a couple of others but those weren't what I wanted. I also got a few other things and got out of the store for $20. Not bad for spending $15 on the stocking holders and pillow.
Two of the holders. I made the stockings years ago.

Next stop was Hobby Lobby. This was disappointing. They really had nothing I wanted. So we moved on to Walmart. The parking lot was pretty empty here too. I wondered where all the people were. I knew it was a federal/state holiday so a lot of people had the day off. The return line here was very long but the rest of the store was pretty empty. I got all my wrapping paper, bows and bags for $16. So I'm set for next year.

We went home for lunch and then decided to go to the mall. After all these other stores were empty and I did have a bunch of stuff to return to the mall. Well guess what? Everyone was at the mall. That explains why the other stores were empty. Every single parking spot was taken. We didn't even stop and continued on to Barnes and Noble and Michaels. Both stores were busy but not overly so. Whitney got a paint pen for a project she was working on but then we went home.

I think today we'll try the mall again since a lot of people have to be at work today.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Raisin Bread French Toast

We decided to have homemade raisin bread french toast for our Christmas morning breakfast. We have a great recipe for the bread machine so we made that the night before.

Raisin Bread - For the Bread Machine
   (Electric Bread)

This makes a small loaf which yields about 8 good size slices for french toast. One slice was enough for each of us.

3/4 cup water
2 cups bread flour
1 T dry milk
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 T butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp fastrise yeast

Add 1/2 cups raisins when the bread machine is starting its second knead cycle. I soaked my raisins in boiling water for a few minutes to get them to plump up.

French Toast
  (Better Homes and Garden)
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix together and soak bread 30 seconds on each side. Cook 2-3 minutes per side.

Always good to have your milk in a snowman mug

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas at our House

Well it finally happened. We've gotten old. We all slept in and ate breakfast before we even looked at our stockings. But it was amazing how many presents just the three of us had under the tree. Of course it helps when I wrap each pair of socks I bought Whitney separately and even wrapped a box of Lucky Charms. There are a few things to exchange for sizes but that will be tackled during the week...not tomorrow.

The dog even got a gift but it took her several hours before she would even eat it. I finally had to get down on the floor and pretend to eat it before she would.

As you can see she got a few pairs of socks. She is modeling last year's fun socks along with this year's Christmas pajamas.

We had a very nice dinner. Ham, scalloped corn, mashed potatoes and rolls. Just enough for us and lots of leftovers. We have an apple pie for later tonight.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Fragments - Merry Christmas Edition

Mommy's Idea

Time to link up for this week's version of Friday Fragments hosted by Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time. I'm sure you will all agree that it will be full of Christmas cheer!

*** I'm off work now until January! Best part of working at a university is we always have the week off between Christmas and New Year's. No bidding for the time off.

*** I still need to buy a ham for dinner Sunday. We have the turkey for later in the week. But since when did pork get so expensive? Wow, I'm in sticker shock.

*** Christmas presents are all wrapped and under the tree. I do have one thing left but I have to get it together to put in a bag. I have successfully used up almost all of the paper and bows.

*** I'm ready for the day after Christmas sales. I'm a sucker for 50% off decorations and stuff. That's my Black Friday.

*** I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve service at church. We were out of town last year and the year before everything got snowed out (the great Christmas blizzard) so this is the first time I'll attend at the church I go to.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope you all can enjoy time with your families.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Crockpot Snack Mix

Don't you just love snack mix? It is so darn expensive though at the stores that we make our own. And since I don't have huge microwave safe containers, I make mine in the crockpot. We've been doing this for years and I've tweaked the recipe many times. This is so easy and you can make it to suit your tastes. The original recipe came from a crockpot cookbook we have had forever.

Crockpot Snack Mix

3 cups corn chex
3 cups rice chex
2 cups wheat chex
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 cup peanuts
4 T melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Mix all your ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on low covered for 3 hours and then take the lid off and cook 30 more minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

You can use any combination of cereals, pretzels, nuts that you want. The original recipe had a whole can of mixed nuts and cheerios instead of chex cereals. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Food and Drink

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?
Yes we are cooking Christmas dinner for the three of us. I just bought a turkey that was on sale but we are having ham. Frankenham in fact (still need to purchase). See Monday's post for a photo of that. We also will have broccoli, rolls, some kind of potatoes and apple pie.

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?
We aren't having any cookies this year. So the answer would be there is no must-have. :D

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies. Do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim? almond? soy? full fat (Gasp!)
Milk is always good with a chocolate chip cookie. And the milk in our house is always Braum's Fat Free. In fact, Whitney refuses to drink any other kind of milk. Somehow they make the fat free version taste like it is 2% but regular 2% doesn't even taste as good.

4. Time magazine recently named their 'Person of the Year' for 2011. This is the person the editors believe had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose 'The Protester'. Your thoughts? Who would you name Person of the Year for 2011?
This was a cop-out. But then again weekly magazines have sort of gone the way of the dinasour with the rise of internet media. If they are going to go that way, how about picking the homeowner who actually didn't contribute to the foreclosure problem because they were smart and bought a house that they could afford. Sorry, don't mean to rant but I feel that we are being punished for being fiscally responsible. Thank goodness our house will be paid off in 5 years.

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day... when was the last time you needed a flashlight and did you know right where to find one?
I used a flashlight to find my box of boxes in the attic to wrap presents. It is in the top drawer in my utility room. I also have one in every car glovebox. We have one in the office in one of the cabinets near the copy machine. I'm very prepared.

6. candy canes...yum or yuck?
In moderation they are good. Especially when used in candy cane martinis!

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?
I've always loved "Do You Hear What I Hear". Proclaiming the good news in a variety of ways.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm so proud of Whitney. She got a 4.0 gpa her first semester of college. I know how hard that is and now she officially has a better gpa at college than I ever did.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas. Hope no one is snowed in, unless of course you want to be.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things That Should Be Banned

My office at work is directly across from the office microwave/refrigerator. Some bozo decided this would be a good design. Most of the time it isn't bad because hardly anyone ever uses it. But today somebody heated up something that stinks. I mean really stinks. I've sprayed multiple times air freshener and I still get whiffs of stink.

So what should be banned? Stinky food? Reheating stinky food? Reheating stinky food in a microwave directly across from the person who handles your payroll? I think all three.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

Sushi night was awesome. Not only was the sushi great (definitely will be back for more), the company was fun and the drinks were wonderful. Not sure that everyone would agree that chocolate peppermint martinis go with sushi, but it was tasty.

My new dishwasher is ordered. Lowe's was out of them but they already had them ordered. So hopefully before the end of the year the new one will be here and installed. I picked a Maytag and it was on sale, then they had another 10% off appliances and then I got 5% off because I used a Lowe's credit card. So I saved about $80 off the normal price.

We finally watched Charlie Brown Christmas that we had on the DVR. The sound was off for the first half so it was rather strange to see the mouths move and then here the words. Especially since we all know the dialogue by heart.

I got my first batch of snack mix made in the crockpot yesterday. Just enough to give to the people at work. So I need to make another batch tonight for neighbors and us.

I did so good at the grocery store on Saturday until they started ringing up all the non-food stuff. Almost 1/3 of my bill was stuff. UUGGGHHH, I hate that. We are still slowly eating out of the freezer but will have to buy food for Christmas dinner. We are going to have ham this year. Last time we did that, we named it Frankenham. This is what it looked like. Let me tell you it is the tastiest ham. So juicy, and yes we take the toothpicks off before eating.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fragments - Happy Dance Time

Mommy's Idea

Time for Friday blog hops. Thanks to Half-Past Kissin' Time (Mrs. 4444) and Never Growing Old (Java) for hosting.

***Whitney is home! For a whole three and a half weeks! And already the house feels so much fuller. The pantry has more food. There is more stuff everywhere. How does just having one more person do that?

***I love seeing all my friends posting about their college kids coming home. Good for all of us.

***The work "holiday" party was interesting. It was for the whole building and their families. 350 people rsvp'd. We showed up 45 minutes after it started and they were almost out of food. Plus they had about 60-70 kids waiting to see Santa Claus. I think I was probably right to skip it in the past. Just not my thing I guess.

***However the Christmas party I went to last weekend was fun. And tonight I'm going out to dinner with a friend for sushi. Yummy.

***I'm not making any Christmas cookies this year. We don't need that stuff in the house. We did order a fruitcake from Collin Street Bakery.

***Still getting gift deliveries at home. Just a little more shopping to go. I'm trying to use up wrapping paper because the rolls don't fit in my wrapping box. I'm hoping that this is the last year for all of it. Whitney informed me that the box doesn't have a lot of stuff in it. I think she means bows and ribbons. I always hit the after Christmas sales for that stuff and we were on vacation last year so I missed it.

***I keep listening to Christmas music on my computer at work. How can it be that on 7 different Christmas music stations no one can play Snow Miser/Heat Miser? That is my favorite and I have barely heard it. Thank goodness Year Without a Santa Claus is on tv tomorrow and I can just replay it over and over.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Are we weather ready?

There is a big conference going on at work about "Weather Ready Nation." All sorts of talks and such. I of course am not invited (thank goodness) probably because I'm always weather ready as opposed to those silly stormchasers. Well about 2:30 today the tornado sirens went off in town. This is not normal. Our normal test time is Saturday at noon. And we had just had rain and it was overcast and it was warmer than normal. As I was straining to hear the siren through the building I kept wondering I wonder if that is really what I hear? Then I texted home to see if they could hear it there and yes they could. Then I went to facebook (isn't that where all of us get weather related information) and lots of posts wondering why the sirens were going off. After a couple of minutes they went off. And it is officially "a malfunction probably computer program related".

I personally think that it was testing all these weather ready people in our building to see what they would do. And the answer was nothing. We just looked at each other and did nothing.

I believe that would be considered an EPIC FAIL!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Perfect Rice

After years of never being able to cook rice, we discovered a great way. All through a cookbook.

I know they make rice cookers, but as Alton Brown says they are uni-taskers. And the only uni-tasker you should have in the kitchen is a fire extinguisher. And we tried the thing about adding water up to the number of knuckles of cups of rice you cooked. We could never make that work. But this method comes straight from an expert...Paul Prudhomme. His family cookbook has a BAKED rice dish that is perfect every single time. Last week when we had red beans and rice the question was should we do that or just make the boil in the bag rice (I know terrible idea but fast). I knew it wouldn't taste as good so we went with the baked rice.

Basic Cooked Rice (makes 6 cups)

2 cups uncooked rice (we usually use Jasmine)
2 1/2 cups stock (we used can chicken broth)
1 1/2 T melted butter
1 1/2 T finely chopped onions
1 1/2 T finely chopped celery
1 1/2 T finely chopped green bell peppers (optional)
1/2 tsp salr
1/8 tsp garlice powder
A pinch of white pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper

In a 5x9x2 1/2 inch loaf pan combine all ingredients; mix well. Seal pan snugly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees until rice is tender about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

We made this batch with bell peppers. Normally we don't use this but we had leftover from the red beans recipe. We ran out of celery so didn't add it. I prefer it with the celery instead of the bell peppers.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Yesterday we made lasagna using our old standby recipe. It comes from a box of lasagna (see old family secret). I've never been one to like cooking my noodles. They always seem to rip and get mushy. So I've always used the ones that you don't have to cook. They tend to get crunchy on the edges though...not very tasty. Early last week we watched Alton Brown make lasagna in a crockpot. Well the recipe looked terrible (and the reviews online are really bad) but he did his noodles in a way we thought we would try. He laid them out on a pan and put boiling water over them for 30 minutes. They softened that way and sort of cooked, but not in a destructive kind of way. So we tried it. I took two jelly roll pans and laid out my noodles. My first batch of water wasn't quite boiling so we redid it. And it worked. After 30 minutes the noodles were very pliable but still not cooked all the way through. So they were very easy to work with. And the lasagna was probably the best we had in quite awhile because of that.

So there's today handy tip. We will definitely use that to cook lasagna in the future.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Fragments - Time For This Already?

Mommy's Idea

Time to link up with Mrs. 4444 for Friday Fragments

So this week flew by. Guess I was just counting down the days until Saturday. Because I have not one but two events to go to. WOW! When it rains it pours.

The first one is going to see Whitney for Mom's Day. I know it seems strange to have it this late in the year but I think it is because the school has so many big performances and parents will be around to watch their kids. When you go to a school that is big into fine arts you do stuff like that than instead of around football games (which of course they don't even have). We are going to go watch the "Home for the Holidays" show that the dance school does. Think Radio City Rockettes but at a college. They actually like to brag that they have two more dancers in their kick line than the Rockettes. Most of these girls want to be a Rockette too.

The second is a party hosted by a couple of my wine tasting friends. This could be interesting since I've heard that it is huge and there is more food and drink than you know what to do with. I'm going for people watching.

Whitney found out she had an A in a class she thought she had a B in and now she doesn't have to take that final next week. So she only has two finals now. I'm very proud of how well she has done the first semester at college. But then again I knew she would do well. She is well organized and makes sure her work gets done. No last minute waiting for her.

She'll be home on Wednesday. So her room will no longer be my wrapping paper room. Darn, now to find another place for the massive box.

Yesterday I took my car into the dealership because the check tire pressure light came on. I get free "special air" if I bring it in. I also kept losing the ability to unlock my car using the fob. I had already gotten the battery changed once but it still messed up. So they needed to fix that too. After being told it would be a couple of hours before they could get to it, Dan took me back to work. He dropped me off and my phone rang saying it would be ready in 15 minutes. So he came back and took me to get the car right away. I had to wait while they finished washing it (which I didn't know they were doing but got rid of the bird poop) and then they told me it would be $35. I told them why when everything was covered by warranty. They said you got an oil change. I said I never asked for an oil change. My car tells me when it needs it and it still had 30% life left on it. Plus I only have 17,000 miles on it after 2 1/2 years so I think it doesn't need it every 3 months. So they took the charge off. I checked the car when I got back in and they had changed the oil. So I got a free oil change and car wash. Score one for me!

I'm still shopping online but now I had better hurry up so I can make sure it gets delivered in time. I even ordered me something. When it comes I'll definitely take pictures.

Also linking up with Never Growing Old and Follow Friday 40 and Over

And one more link just because I'm in the mood.

1. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
I'm not baking any cookies this year. Growing up we made so many different kinds. I always liked the almond balls that had a candied cherry in the middle.

2. What's your favorite holiday movie & why?
Miracle on 34th Street. The original. I just think the Santa Claus is the greatest. Although Natalie Wood is a pretty spoiled brat in it for wanting such an extravagent gift.

3. Is there a gift that you bought for your kids that you wish you hadn't after they opened it?
Hands down a robotic dog. Whitney wanted it so bad and after we bought it I think she played with it for all of about 2 days. It was pretty expensive.

4. What is the messiest room in your house right at this moment?
It is always the utility room. That's why the door is closed and guests can't see it.

5. What is the furthest you have driven for the holidays?
Driven would be 20 hours to go to Disney World. However, the furthest we have been would be the year we were on a cruise ship and in Mexico. We drove to get it on it but then it sailed. So not exactly driving. LOL

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Carpet Pooling

So there are a few questions as to what pooling is. Let me tell you it sucks.

Pooling is also known as Watermarking.

These are from a couple of different websites about this problem. While I'm glad we aren't the only ones (it did take the carpet place about 6 months to figure it out) I wish we didn't have it.

All pile yarn carpet is subject to pile reversal; however, it is most likely to be
observed in smooth surfaced, densely constructed, plush type qualities.  This
phenomenon is difficult, if not impossible, to predict or prevent.  Pile reversal creates a
permanent change in the carpet’s appearance caused by the difference in the way light
reflects off the sides and tip of a yarn as the pile lays in different directions.  Shaded
areas appear light from one direction and dark from another direction. After a period of
use, carpet may look as though water has spilled on sections of the carpet, hence, the
term “water marking.”  Other terms also commonly used to describe pile reversal are
“pooling,” “shading,” and “highlighting.”

The problem is caused by some of the carpet nap changing direction. The mystery is that no one, I really mean no one, has supposedly ever found out why it does this in certain cases and not in others. Professional references state that even if you replace the carpet there is about a 75% chance of it reappearing. This occurs even if another manufacturer’s carpet of the same style is installed. (It would be interesting to remove pooled carpet and install it in another location and see if the pooling disappears.) This is generally style related (velvets, plushes, dense saxonies) but probably not related to a specific carpet. We also know that pooling will flow across seams as if they are not there. This supposedly shows that it is not localized to the carpet itself and works over a larger area than a 12' width. Efforts at steaming and/or cleaning do not help. These are the supposed facts that manufacturer’s claim as proof that this is not a manufacturing problem. 

These aren't pictures of my carpet but you can see what I'm talking about. In our case it looks like worn areas. We have one spot in the middle of the living room that looks bleached out. And the parts that are really bad you can tell when you vacuum because the vacuum doesn't want to go over the area.

What looks like vacuum marks are the pooling
It looks like a water stain but it isn't
If you were at this place you would think the place had major water damage
Doesn't this look like money well spent?
The carpet place did offer to replace the carpet (which actually they didn't have to do because pooling isn't covered by warranty) we would have had to pay for the labor. And there is no guarantee that it wouldn't do the same thing. After the pain of having to move everything to get the carpet and then having to pay probably another $2,000, we decided to live with it. We figure we'll be in the house for at least 6-10 more years and it would need new carpet when we were to sell it. We'll let the new owners deal with it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Really Only One Disney Favorite?

Great questions this week for the hodgepodge

1. Will you be hosting any house guests between now and the end of December? Does that thought make you happy or crazy? Do you do anything special for your guests to make them feel at home? How long should a house guest stay?

Unless you count the college daughter, we won't have any houseguests. Since we thought she would be having surgery during the holidays, we figured we would be lowkey at home this year. Her surgery is January 3 so we could have had someone but it is a little too late now.

2. Walter Elias Disney was born this week (December 5) back in 1905 ...what's your all time favorite Disney movie? Here's a list in case you're struggling...and yes, you have to pick one.

Just one? Wow, there are so many. There are so many memories attached to them. I might have to go with The Little Mermaid. But then again I might say Beauty and the Beast. Cinderella was my favorite growing up. And you can't go wrong with Toy Story. AAARRRGGGHHH! So I'm going to go outside of the box and say Fantasia. It has a little bit of everything and I'm sure no one else will pick it.

3. What was the last thing you purchased that you realized was a mistake after the fact?

The carpet in the house. After spending $6,000 to redo the whole house, we found out that we have "pooling" and there is nothing that can be done about it. And if we replaced the carpet it will do the same thing. It is some kind of ghost image thing that makes it look like the carpet is worn even it is new. As much as I don't like hardwood floors, I would have done that.

4. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?

I'm going to say 75% this year. I've always done shopping online (yes even going back to the beginning of the internet) and with free shipping it is so much easier. Plus most stores let you return your online purchases at the actual stores so I don't have to pay return shipping.

5. Amaryllis-snowdrop-poinsettia...your favorite winter blossom?

Not a big fan of any of them but I guess a poinsettia would have to be my choice.

6. What is one thing on your personal Christmas wish list? I think we all want peace on earth so let's make this answer an actual item.

A year of good health for all.

7. If you could only use one word today what would it be?

COLD! I think no explanation is needed for that one.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Physical therapy is going well. I'm using the elastic band for my elbow and I have exercises for my tendonitis. I'm becoming and expert at ice massage too. Always fun to use a cold ice cube when it is 35 degrees outside. At least the inside of the house is toasty.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Red Beans and Rice

Cold weather means warm comfort food. So we decided this weekend to make something that is a favorite of Dan's and mine that Whitney doesn't like. So we made a food of love...Red Beans and Rice.

This is definitely a recipe that you need time for. It takes almost four hours of cooking. You really need to be there to keep stirring it so it doesn't stick to the pan. The recipe is Emeril's and we've used it for years. I wasn't a bean lover before this, but I gave it a shot and really do like it.

You can't find the recipe anymore online but I know it is Emeril's because my notecard says so.

Red Beans and Rice

2 T veg oil
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb smoked ham hocks
1/2 lb cooked park meat (cook overnight in small crockpot in 1/2-1 cup water)
1 lb dried red beans, rinsed, soaked and drained
3 T chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock or water (2 cans broth, 6 cups water)

In dutch overn heat the oil. When oil is hot add onions, celery and bell peppers to the pan. Seans vegetables with salt and cayenne pepper. Saute the vegetables for 5 mins or until they start to wilt. Add bay leaves, thyme, ham hocks and pork meat and saute for 5-6 mins. Add beans, garlic and stock/water. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours uncovered. (Stir often)

Add more water or stock if mixture becomes dry and thick. Use a wooden spoon to mash 1/4 of the mixture. Continue to cook, stirring occassionally for about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender and creamy. Add more liquid if it is too thick. Mixture should be soupy but not watery.

Remove bay leaves. Serve with rice.

It is not necessarily pretty, but it sure tastes good and warm in my tummy. This time we used some of the pulled bbq pork we had in the freezer and it was too much. Cooking a small piece of pork overnight in some water works much better. You don't want the pork to overtake the beans.

Now we have lots of leftovers.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Crazy Out There

I learned today what six hours of cold rain does to people on a Saturday before Christmas. It makes them all come out of their houses after the rain and go shopping. Lucky for me I went grocery shopping this morning in the rain. But this afternoon I decided to go look at Hobby Lobby for the rub-on transfers so I can do my project and maybe do a little Christmas shopping. Oh my. The Hobby Lobby parking lot was full. This is a huge parking lot so I knew I was in trouble. The store was packed. 14 checkout lanes were open. I couldn't believe it. Of course they didn't have what I wanted so I went to plan B, shopping. Stupid me. I headed towards the mall and one look and I knew it was time to go home. Yikes. I'll be better off taking an afternoon off of work to do that, thank you very much.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

Time for the weekly wrap up of random thoughts running through my mind. Thanks to Mrs. 4-4-4-4 for hosting every week.

My office has been so cold this week I've been running the space heater. Today the weather is supposed to be even colder so I dressed really warm. I entered my office and I thought I was going to start sweating. The temperature didn't say it was hotter so I don't know if it was a malfunction or just a warm from the inside thing. At least now I'm not feeling like I'm going to sweat through my clothes (that wouldn't be a pretty sight).

Been going to physical therapy for my newly diagnosed tennis elbow. Come to find out you don't have to play sports to get it. Mine is from over use of a computer mouse.

We've been eating leftovers or freezer meals all week. The freezer is still full. Tonight's meal...leftover pizza that had been frozen. I don't know when we'll need to buy anything. Guess that's what happens when there is one good meat sale and you stock up.

I had another good idea for making gifts but couldn't find rub on transfers at Michael's last night. Will have to check Hobby Lobby this weekend. If I can't find them, I guess I'm on the plan D (which I do have).

I really need a new dishwasher. I'm pretty sure the current one is going to explode and send shards of broken plates and water all over my house. It has to be the loudest thing ever.

I'm really glad I don't have tickets for the football game tomorrow night. It is going to be cold, cold, wet, maybe snowy. All to see a game that I can watch in the comfort of my warm home with maybe a fire going. That is such a better plan.

Hope everyone stays warm and dry.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The New Copier

So here's a little story of the new copier we got for the office. We have five year leases at work and mine was up. Now we have three vendors so I figured I hear what each of them could do for me. Company 1 was the one I have dealt with for 20+ years. I really love them. Company 2 is a local one and new to the lease plan. I knew nothing about them except I know they support a lot of community work. Company 3 didn't have what I needed size wise so they were out.

Company 1 was going to give me a machine similar to what I have but new. And I knew how to use it. Company 2 was going for a new machine that was same size but the features were different. And they were $1,000 cheaper each year. So over five years that's $5,000. Not a small amount of money.

So after talking to a couple of places on campus that are using company 2 I decided to go local. Hey let's support local businesses. Plus I save money. So the new machine arrived a week ago and we still aren't working properly.

First problem was copy codes. You see I need to track which groups are using the copy machine to print so I can charge them for the copies. And we just couldn't get the code button to come up on computers when you sent a document to print. After a week of going round and round it turned out to be something that used to be a default setting and now it isn't. One little click of a square and now we can count.

Second problem was the email function wasn't working. We use the copier to email scanned copies back to ourselves. But it kept saying we weren't authorized nor were we set up on the network. Which is silly since it was a the same computer line that the other copier used. Turns out someone told our IT guy the wrong port number. All that grief for one digit off.

Third is anyone with a mac can't print yet. Now that doesn't bother me since I'm a PC user, but it sort of screws up some of my workers. IT will be over yet again today to see if that can be fixed.

Then there has been the little problems. Like for some reason the copy machine kept telling me I wasn't authorized to staple. Really? It told me to talk to the administrator. I told it "I am the administrator" but it didn't listen to me. I figured out the setting issue.

Good thing about the copier is it has a keyboard so when we need to enter something it is much easier than pressing a little screen. That I usually hit the wrong letter on and have to start over.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Or How Did I Spend My Vacation?

Good questions this week From This Side of the Pond

1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so about how many will you send this year? How do you display the cards you receive? Or don't you? (gasp!)

Last year I skipped sending cards (except for the cards I handed out with homemade gifts to co-workers and neighbors). I still have 2+ boxes of really cute puppy dog cards that will just have to be slowly handed out because I'm not mailing them out anymore. First of all I never sent out many to start with, second all the people I would want to send them to are Facebook friends (except my Mom who refuses to be on a computer). If I get any, they go in a basket next to the fireplace.

2. When do kids become adults?

I think when they move out of the house. Whitney turned 18 just one month into her senior year of high school and while technically an adult, I never thought of her that way. After she returned home at Thanksgiving I realized how much mature she was just a few months out of the house.  In otherwords it isn't age it is seasoning that makes you an adult.

3. Does your 'beauty regimen' change with the seasons?

Nope, I do the same thing every day. Only difference is maybe a little more lotion on the legs at night.

4. What's something you like to eat that might cause another person to turn up their nose?

When I was young I would have said ketchup on scrambled eggs but I don't do that anymore. But now I think I'm pretty normal and do anything strange. I do like sushi and I know a lot of people don't like that.

5. Gloves or mittens?

Definitely gloves. While mittens are warmer (and important for a kid making snowmen) it doesn't help the driving aspect of my life.

6. What's the longest queue you've ever been in? Was it worth it? Queue=line but doesn't queue sound nicer?

Well this answer is obviously the lines at Disneyland last Christmas. The longest lines I've ever been in (even beat the lines at Disneyworld at Christmas). Would I do it again? Probably not there but I'll go to Disneyworld anytime.

Second longest, waiting in line for security at Paris Charles DeGalle airport. Oh my, I thought we were going to miss our flight home but lucky for us there were kind people who let us cut in the line to check in our luggage (which was another 2 hours wait) and that there were people farther back in line than us for our flight. That was absolutely the worst flying experience.

7. Besides Christmas, what is one thing you are looking forward to in the month of December?

My 10 day offs of work with only taking 2 days of vacation. The most generous holiday policy I've ever seen is saving up the holidays by OU for the "winter" break. So we are off Dec. 23-Jan. 2 with only two of those days as vacation days. No arguing for time off. We all get it off.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My car accident settlement check is in the mail! I've already paid all my bills so now have to plan what to use it for. I've got ideas but just need to put some things in motion.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Cranberry Chutney

I've always made cranberries like my mom and grandma did...exactly like the bag with just one cup of sugar and one cup of water plus about half a box of strawberry jello. Well last year I decided to try something different and we loved it. And I did it again this year and everyone loved it. Our guest said it was better than her grandma's recipe (always a good sign). Dan couldn't get enough of it. I got the recipe at While they say put it over some cream cheese and use it as a spread, we just use it as our salad and so tasty.

Holiday Cranberry Chutney
courtesy of

  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 large cooking apple, chopped (I used a Fuji)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 15-20 minutes or until apple is tender and mixture thickens. Cool completely.
  2. Store in the refrigerator. Serve over cream cheese with crackers or as a condiment with pork, ham or chicken.

This gets really thick if you make it the day before.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Time to Catch Up

Four days off and so much is happening. Without a laptop and with the office having a guest stay in it, my access to computers was limited. So time to catch up in my life.

The house is all decorated for Christmas. Day one was all of the regular decorations. That went well without any problems. I thought I was missing things but it was ok, I was decorated. Well when I unpacked the tree decorations the next day I found what I was missing. So now everything is decorated. Putting the tree up though was full of problems. It is a pre-lit tree and three of the lowest branches were dark. I spent over an hour trying to figure out which light was the problem but couldn't figure it out. The whole tree was already put together. So I just took a regular string of lights and tried to wrap it around the branches best I could. And then moved those branches sort of towards the back. Then I bought a new tree topper and thought I was going to love it. Unfortunately I don't. It doesn't light up and I didn't think that would be a problem. But at night you can't see it at all. It was only $10 and we determined that we were going to buy a new tree for next year so I'll just get another topper then.

The turkey dinner turned out great. We didn't rush in the morning and we thought the dressing was going to be too moist, but it was perfect. And the leftovers were good to as was the turkey noodle soup we had last night. We get that again tonight, which is perfect since it is cold outside.

Movies watched...lots. We went and saw the Muppet Movie in a sold out theater. By the time we got there the only seats left were in the front. I guess I can put up with a crick in my neck watching those funny guys. Then we watched Elf, To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone With the Wind. The last two were for Whitney's history class. Add that to a bunch of football games and there wasn't a lot of time for other watching.

Black Friday shopping...didn't do. I'm not crazy. I don't need anything that bad nor do I spend that much money that anything looked like it would save me money. So total Christmas shopping done is zero. Which is fine. I usually shop online anymore and get free shipping. Why go out in the cold and then find out a store is out of something when I can shop and ship and never leave my house.

Walmart on a Saturday morning after Black Friday and the weather is cold/windy and there is a home football game...EMPTY!!!! Let me just say what a pleasant grocery shopping experience that was. I even had both girls and they shopped and I shopped and we each walked up to a check out lane without waiting. WOOHOO!!

Christmas music...playing on my computer and car radio station now constantly. 

Office...decorated for Christmas. 

While unpacking my Christmas stuff I found a lot of things I bought on superclearance last year. I had a lot of plastic bowls that have snowman on them. I probably spent ten cents on each of them and must have thought I would fill them with giveaway stuff. So now that I see those I think I know what I'm going to do. It does involve food but it is easy crockpot stuff and makes a ton so I think I'll fit my inexpensive but homemade criteria.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movie Review - The Muppet Movie

First of all, I haven't seen a movie in a real theater in years, so this is a treat. But once I heard that there was a new muppet movie coming out at Thanksgiving I knew I had to go.

For anyone who grew up with the Muppet Show, this is a definite must see. Oh how I loved watching that show with my family. The laughs and smiles it caused were so wonderful. I still have to smile at Pigs in Space or the Swedish Chef. This movie lived up to all that and more.

It is campy, but it is made that way and with taste. It was obvious that the writers were huge fans. It seemed to be a combination of the tv show and the first movie. It even had references to the first movie (travel by map, Sweetums at the car lot). But it also was current (I hate to admit it but I didn't get all the cameos).

But the best part was the smile I had on my face the entire movie. Plus me singing along to the Muppet Show theme song (along with my head nod). The best song was the chickens doing Forget You.

And we can't forget the message behind all muppet movies/shows. That we are all one family. We may look different but underneath we are all the same. A good, kind, loving group of people/muppets.

Don't judge by what you look like. Even a pig and frog can fall in love.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let the decorating begin!

Today is traditionally the beginning of Christmas decorating in our house. And as I went into the attic with Dan to pull everything out, I realized something. I have a lot of stuff. Like boxes and boxes of stuff. And yet, not enough stuff. It is way too easy to put everything out. Maybe its because I don't have a lot of places to put things. Maybe its because I just have the same stuff and I keep putting it into the same place. So I think I need new stuff.

The tree will go up tomorrow because this afternoon is a real treat...we are going to see The Muppet Movie. At a real theater! The last time I went to a movie was probably three to four years ago. I was shocked at how expensive movie tickets were. Even with the matinee price it is outrageous. Makes much more sense to wait til it comes out on dvd and rent it at redbox for a buck.

Dinner is easy tonight, leftovers. Although I'm going to have to make a new batch of mashed potatoes because we ate them all yesterday. Lucky for us we made an extra pan of dressing. Plus the bird has been taken apart and the bones are in the crockpot making stock so we can have turkey noodle soup. Yumminess is on its way.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - It's A Five Day Weekend!

1. Let's start with something controversial...dressing or stuffing? What's it called at your house and what's included in your recipe...cornbread? oysters? sausage? chestnuts?

Nothing controversial on this one. It's dressing and there is only one way to make it. White bread and sage. Lots of sage. And lots of butter. Plus you cook it in the turkey so it gets super moist.

Anyone who disagrees with me can just leave me more to eat.

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

Absolutely no one.

3. When were you last inside an airport?

A couple of weeks ago when I flew back from Washington DC. It is sad when I know the DC airport as well as the OKC one. I even know what fast food they have at the gate.

4. What is one side dish that absolutely must be included in a turkey dinner?

Just one side dish? How about three? Dressing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Cranberries.

5. What Christmas song do you dread hearing?

Feliz Navidad.

6. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?

I never give money to people on the street. I donate money to my church and I also play Secret Santa to a foster child.

7. Share a favorite Thanksgiving memory. If you live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving share a favorite memory associated with food.

Watching the Macy's parade. I always love to watch that. Although now that I'm older I realize it is all lip sync stuff. But the big balloons are pretty cool.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The office is all decorated for Christmas (I spent my morning doing that). And when I get home Whitney and her friend will be there. And then the cooking will commence.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ergonomics and Glasses

Yesterday I had the environmental safety people come and look at my work station to make sure I'm ergonomic. I found out that I have very bad tennis elbow from overuse of my mouse and I needed help. Boy did I learn a lot.

First of all, my keyboard was about 1/3 to the left of where it should be. You are supposed to line up the middle of the keyboard to the middle of the monitor. This looks pretty wacky since I have a big keyboard on my little laptop docking station. I also had my chair and monitor too low. So now I've crammed myself into the corner of my desk so that my right arm has as much support to be neutral as possible. This is not an easy position to get into because the wheels on the chair have to be just so so that I can get myself close.

Then he taught me a trick which I didn't know about how to increase the size of the fonts on what I'm reading. I've been using reading glasses for a few years and it never seems to work right. But now that my monitor is farther away than before, the glasses really aren't working right either. So I've zoomed the screen to probably 150% and can read it it for the most part. I'm still not happy about this because my spreadsheets just aren't going to work that way, but for general stuff it should work.

So what have I learned through all this. Most of us don't know what we are doing with our computer workstations and we need help.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crafty Update

The pot pouri smelled pretty good but I think it isn't going to work as a gift. I may try and find a recipe that doesn't involve having to cook it on the stove.

I was think for the candle I might try and find some pretty pins to cover the ribbon seam. The button idea Skippymom had may work too. I would just need to find the right kind. The ribbon is sparkly snowflakes so that limits the buttons.

I made cookie in the jar mix last year so can't do that again. That worked well for most people but my boss looked at it like it was a foreign object. Too complicated for him.

At least I have a few weeks to figure it out.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday gift preparation

This is year three of homemade gifts for co-workers and neighbors. I wanted to try something outside of my normal (meaning no cooking for these gifts). So I'm in practice mode right now.

The first thing I tried was decorating a candle with pretty ribbons. While I have the ribbon on and it looks nice, what I had bought to cover up the ribbons seam isn't working. I'm still trying to figure out if I can come up with a good way to cover it up. But overall this is successful.

The second thing I'm trying to homemade potpouri mix. I found a recipe online and am trying it out as I type. It is one that you cook on the stove and just keep adding water to it. I can smell the cloves but nothing else yet. I really hope it starts smelling like cinnamon soon.

If neither of these work, I guess I'll have to come up with a third idea. I like to keep it inexpensive but still nice. Any ideas?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crockpot Mexican Pulled Pork

The grocery store had a huge pork sale last week so we bought a bunch. I still have lots of BBQ pulled pork in the freezer so Dan wanted to do something different with the porkbutt that he bought. He found this recipe and we had to triple it because our pork was so much bigger. It turned out delicious and we have so many leftovers. We will definitely be eating well this winter. As long as my freezer can keep up with our meat production. Yikes, I didn't realize how much having one less person in the house changes our food consumption.

We made this in our largest crockpot and put it in the sink overnight because we were afraid it was going to overflow. It didn't do that but it certainly was FULL.

Mexican Pulled Pork
courtesy of SparkRecipes

2 1/2 pound Pork Roast
1 can tomatoes with diced green chiles
1 small can diced green chiles
2 tsp taco seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion

Place 1 can of tomatoes with diced green chiles on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place pork roast on top. Mix can of green chiles with the other ingredients and slather on top of the roast. Place slowcooker on low for about 8 hours. Shred pork (should happen very easily), then place back in slow cooker and mix with the juices. Can be used for tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches. 

We had a 6 pound pork butt so used 3 cans of tomatoes (really only needed two), a big can of diced green chiles. The spices we also increased a lot...6 T of taco seasoning, 1 T of cayenne pepper, 6 cloves of garlic. We had misread the recipe and thought the original took 1Tablespoon of cayenne and thought oh my goodness. But the person who submitted it had just capitalized the T and then added the little sp afterwards. Whenever we see a big T we always think tablespoon.

We just had it on some really good flour tortillas and I put a little cheese on mine. It tasted just like pulled meat you would have at a Mexican restaurant. A definite keeper recipe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - A Visit to My Youth

1. What song reminds you of a specific time in your life and what is it about that song that makes you remember?

Foreigner's "Cold As Ice" always takes me back to junior high. It was the last couple of months I lived in one town and I always think of the boy I had a crush on then. Then we moved and that was that.

2. What's something you've given up on?

The media being sane about anything. Can you people all not talk about the same stupid stuff?

3. What's something you'll never give up on?

My child.

4. If you had to cook something from scratch in the next hour what would it be?

Well since I'm at work that would be rather difficult. But if I were home we have a pork loin in the fridge that would be cut up and made into delicious breaded pork cutlets. Oh those are tasty.

5. Have you started Christmas shopping? Decorating? Listening to Christmas music?

No to all three. I did get my list for shopping for the secret Santa I'm doing for foster kids. And I did buy a new snowman but haven't put it out yet.

6. What do you know about your parent's wedding?

Big Catholic wedding. Mom converted to marry Dad in the church. And she kept the dress and I tried it on for my wedding but decided all the itchy crinoline wouldn't be good. I did take a button off of it for my something old though.

7. I can't believe I ___________________.

ate the whole thing? Yes I quote commercials.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Friday have to take Whitney for CT scan of her sinuses to figure out where the pressure is on her tear duct. Then schedule surgery to fix that and her deviated septum. Over Christmas break. So she can recover in time to go back to school. Merry Christmas to us.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dealing with the Hospital ... ARRRGGHHH!!!!

So it has now been 1 1/2 years since my car accident. I have been trying for months to get my bill straightened out at the hospital for the ambulance ride I took. The excuses I've gotten have been ridiculous. Basically it all boils down to the fact that my insurance paid what the negotiated amount was and then said I don't owe anything. The hospital insists that I owe $610. They really didn't know who they were dealing with. A less stubborn woman would have paid. But I knew I didn't have to. The insurance company says I owe $0.

These are the excuses I got from the hospital.

1. You initially said your husband would pick you up then changed your mind so you owe the money. What this has to do with anything I don't know.
2. You were paid directly by the insurance company (not true)
3. The explanation of benefits says "You May Owe this Amount" which was zero. That could mean you could owe a different amount. (that made no sense)
4. There was some initial problems with payment and supposedly insurance refused to pay but then they paid. So I owed the money that wasn't paid.

All of this was all interesting but since they accepted payment from the insurance company, they would be breaking their contract with them if they forced me to pay. I told them this and was told "Well it may look like that but that isn't true." What a bunch of baloney. I work with contracts and believe me if one party breaks it, it negates everything. Does that hospital really want to tick off a major insurance company?

After an hour on the phone yesterday, I had enough. I called my insurance company and told them what was going on. They called the hospital and after getting the run around and leaving multiple voice mails they finally got the hospital to agree that it is a patient write-off.

Now I'll believe this when I don't get another bill from them saying they are going to put it on my credit report. Which if they did, I would go ballistic.

Thanks goodness for my insurance company taking care of this. It has turned into a fulltime job.